How To Get Good Skin! { Acne In My 20's...What I've Been Using & What REALLY Works }

We all will be soakin’ up the sun this summer, but our skin needs to be soakin’ up good skin care. Having a good makeup day everyday, starts with having great skin. I’ve struggled with stubborn acne since I was a teenager, I even went on Accutane in high school! Accutane did help me and for years I had beautiful clear skin! I still have much better skin even 7 or 8 years later, and my pores are tiny! But the last maybe three years I’ve been getting stress related acne and hormonal acne. NOT FUN :( But I have actually been enjoying clear skin the last 6 months because I finally found a routine that works for me when battling acne. I’ve previously written about an all-natural skin care routine of products I love to use because I have sensitive and acne prone skin. You can read more about my struggle with acne and very sensitive skin in that article too!

Photo: Instagram/@_alena_alena_

Photo: Instagram/@_alena_alena_

Photo: Instagram/ @KateNicoleWilson

Photo: Instagram/@KateNicoleWilson

All these products mentioned in this post aren’t 100% organic but they are packed full of helpful, dermatologist tested ingredients that serve up some fabulous results! If you are more of an all-naturaaal girl then you should check out my all natural routine linked above.

Because I have dry/combo skin, I often switch between a few of my favorite products cause I am a total product junkie, and I don’t like my skin to get immune to just one product. Does anyone else think like that?? LOL. The products I listed here are ones I know I can always go back to and rely on to help my skin get back into shape. So let’s begin!

1. CLEANSE

Super important part of your skincare routine when preventing acne because you don’t want a cleanser that strips the skin and irritates it even more. The two cleansers I really can rely on are first, La Roch Posay’s Effaclar GEL Face Wash ($15). This is less stripping and much less harsh than their other Effaclar face wash in the white bottle. I like this one because I can visible notice a difference in my skin in just two days of using this. This is my good ol’ reliable acne preventing face wash that doesn’t leave my skin feeling dried out but helps decrease pimple size and help prevent and clear up breakouts.

When I need an ultra-nourishing cleanse, especially if I spent the whole day in the sun, if my skin feels super dry, or if I have been using a lot of makeup, then I will opt for a gentle cleanser. It’s so important to nourish the skin and really take care of it if you are using a lot of harsh products. I listened to The Skinny Confidential’s podcast with German dermatologist and skin-care genius, Dr. Barbara Sturm, and she emphasized the importance of not over stressing the skin with harsh products. I really love the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser ($38) because it’s sooo gentle. It’s gentle enough to even remove mascara and eye makeup! This stuff is magical. It smells like cucumbers too! LOVE LOVE LOVE. This is a must-have if you have sensitive skin.

2. EXFOLIATE

I like to exfoliate, gently, about once or twice a week. I really go off of how my skin is feeling when I decide if it’s time to exfoliate. I don’t like harsh, gritty exfoliants because they leave me very dry and irritated. I like gentle ones such as Dr. Lancer’s Skin Polish ($75). This is used by many boujee LA bloggers who have gone to see Dr. Lancer himself! I decided to pick one up at Nordstrom and give it a go for myself. It really does gently exfoliate and leave your skin feeling very soft. This sh*t is expensive but damn, it works well. This stuff really removes dead skin and any gross dry patches or build up you may have. I definitely need to use a nourishing moisturizer after using this one though because it can be a little drying, but the softness is worth it.

The other exfoliating scrub I’ve loved for a long time now is the Origins GinZing scrub ($20.50) ! If you are a college student, like me, and really want a quality scrub I highly recommend this product because it’s SO GOOD! Worth the $. It smells like oranges and wakes you right up in the morning. It’s such a great exfoliating face wash that balances out any dry areas on the face while refreshing the skin! This will not strip the skin of its natural oils, so I’d say it’s safe to use if you have sensitive skin. I can’t say enough good things about this exfoliator! It’s just perfect for my skin type and doesn’t feel scratchy or irritating on the skin. A+ product!

I also included a good ol’ reliable Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control Scrub ($9.99) because it’s very gentle, super affordable and truly helps prevent those awful painful stress breakouts I get from school (AND LIFE!). It helps sooth stressed out skin and redness while preventing future breakouts. Love ya long time, Neutrogena!

3. TONE

I never really liked toners in the past because I was totally using the wrong ones! My skin would sting and feel all dry after so I just assumed no toners would ever work for me. That was until I realized how amazing the right toner is for my skin! I have three ride or die toners that I cannot decide which I like better. They each serve a different purpose. I always trade back and forth consistently between the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Toner ($24.99) and Thayer’s Witch Hazel & Rose Petal Toner ($9.95). The Kiehl's one definitely leaves my skin feeling smooth and tight and doesn’t over dry. The Thayer’s one is just a tad bit more soothing and moisturizing for when my skin needs some extra TLC. Also, the Thayer’s is great cause you can pick it up right at your local Whole Foods! For those who struggle with hormonal breakouts, I highly suggest La Roche Posay’s Effaclar Toner ($14.99) because it has salicylic acid and glycolic acid which helps micro-exfoliate, reduce pore size, unblock pores, and clear the skin without over drying. I have repurchased this toner 3 times since discovering it two years ago! It’s so good to swipe across where I tend to get more congested skin which is my cheeks and nose area. La Roche Posay has incredible products!

4. MOISTURIZE

I think moisturizer is my favorite type of skincare product because it is a huge determinant in what kind of makeup day I will have. My skin type is combination and very sensitive. I get oily in the t-zone but dry on my cheeks and jawline. I am extremely acne prone due to a number of reasons (I’m assuming). The Josie Maran Daily Moisturizer with SPF 47 ($34) doesn’t leave a white cast on the skin or cause me to breakout. Josie Maran products are amazing and super nourishing. The all natural Argan Oil in her products never feels greasy or too heavy. I even use her 100% light Argan Oil at night for extra moisture. Always light weight and radiant!

Another great moisturizer that does not contain SPF but is so great for year round use is the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizer ($28). This is a great, gentle gel-like moisturizer that delivers a refreshing feel and smooth finish. I LOVE how my skin looks when I use this moisturizer. I noticed a significant improvement to my skin’s texture when I started using this product.

The third product is for my extra-dry and very sensitive girls and guys out there. The Skin Recovery Cream by Avene ($35) is perfect for stressed and sensitive skin. I have struggled with eczema my whole life and usually have it under control unless I am under unique circumstances that overly stress my system or something has seriously irritated my skin. This moisturizer soothes any eczema, rosacea, or dry patches that you may have on your face. It also has amino acids and shea butter so it’s ultra soothing for whenever you are going to be in harsh climates or environments.


I wish you all the best with your skincare journey and I hope you have many radiant days ahead of you. Check out these great products and let me know what you think! What products should I try to help treat my adult acne and sensitive skin. What products do YOU love?! Let me know in the comments below.

xo, Chloe